As students protest, gun safety legislation languishes

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney with student protesters in Washington (Photo courtesy of Congress Member Carolyn Maloney)

By Sabina Mollot

State Senator Brad Hoylman, who’s been pushing for stronger gun laws for years, was in Albany on Wednesday negotiating Republican-proposed budget measures as the walkouts were taking place. His own second-grade daughter Silvia Hoylman-Sigal was participating in one of them at her school.

However, when reached on the phone, Hoylman said that gun control bills, including his own, have recently been blocked by the Republican majority before they could even be heard on the floor.

This includes his own legislation, co-sponsored with State Senator Brian Kavanagh, which would allow families and law enforcement officials to intervene when a person known to be dangerous has a gun.

But despite this, Hoylman thinks the mass protests following last month’s Florida shootings are not being missed by his Republican colleagues.

“Students are doing it around the state and in Albany, so yes I think senators are aware,” he said. “This is a generation that’s being activated on the issue of gun safety and a lot of them are turning 18 and can make their opinions known at the ballot box come November.”

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who’s sponsored a bill to close the gun show loophole, walked alongside students in the nation’s capital. In Manhattan, a handful of elected officials also participated in walkouts, including City Council Member Keith Powers. Saying he was “inspired” by them, Powers joined students at Hunter College.

Parkland was America’s 41st mass shooting in 2018, but since then more than 20 other kids across the country have lost their lives to gun violence.

Bus trip to Washington, DC on gun laws

Hoylman, along with Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, and Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal have charted a bus for New Yorkers who want to make their voices heard on gun violence on Saturday, March 24.

The bus to the nation’s capital will depart from the west side of Manhattan at 5 a.m. and return by 9:30 p.m. Seats are available and all are welcome to join, but it’s first come, first serve. To reserve a spot, call Hoylman at (212) 633-8052.

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